“Are Psychiatric Pharmacogenomics Tests Useful?” AND More on Best 5 Thursday Reads

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Best 5 Reads. Lets begin!

1) Companies Tout Psychiatric Pharmacogenomic Testing, But Is It Ready for a Store Near You?

Genomind’s Genecept Assay and other commercially available pharmacogenomic test panels like GeneSight Psychotropic, RightMed, and CNSDose are intended to optimize drug treatment for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other conditions based on a patient’s individual genetics.

The reach of these tests, which require a physician’s order, is growing. More than 750 000 people have already taken a GeneSight test, according to the company website. Genomind hopes to eventually offer education on its assay in all 1760 Albertsons-owned pharmacies throughout the country. And as of this January patients can request OneOme’s RightMed test online through an independent clinician network instead of through their own physician, potentially lowering the barrier for entry into the service.

Psychiatric pharmacogenomics is gaining traction among some physicians. But several experts who spoke with JAMA cautioned about using commercially available pharmacogenomic test panels to guide mental health care decisions, citing a lack of unbiased patient outcomes data among other concerns.

2) 100 million Americans have chronic pain. Very few use one of the best tools to treat it.

Chronic pain often has no physical cause. Psychotherapy can reduce the suffering.

3) The medication debate: time to change the record

“What a drag it is getting old.” The Rolling Stones’ Mother’s Little Helper has been around for half a century, but its concerns remain relevant. The song reflects 1960s fears around the prescription of potentially harmful psychotropic drugs such as benzodiazepines—“a little yellow pill”, as the song puts it, that is given “though she’s not really ill”. The song concludes with a stern warning: “if you take more of those, you will get an overdose”. Over two decades elapsed before the UK Committee on the Safety of Medicines heeded the caution recommended by Jagger and colleagues, issuing guidance that benzodiazepines should be used for “short-term relief (two to four weeks only)” of severe and disabling anxiety.

4) Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide

Traumatic brain injury can lead to increased risk of suicide. How do you spot a subtle presentation, and what do you do about it?

5) Introduction: The Evolution of ADHD

In this two-part Special Report, the authors provide evidence-based information to guide our assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of ADHD across the lifespan.

Thank you and see you tomorrow for more articles.

Best Regards,

Vikram


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